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Varnished stair banister to white - worth doing / are we mad?!

(33 Posts)
MochaChocaChino Sat 04-Feb-17 18:02:33

We live in a town house so three storeys to do. Currently they're varnished brown but I would love them white - they make each landing and hallway really dark and ideally I would love to do it before re-carpeting landing, stairs & hall...

Has anyone else ever done this, and if so any advice? I can't work out if I'm mad and should just embrace them, or pay a decorator silly amounts of money to paint them. That or replace everything which is just as pricey... confused

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sat 04-Feb-17 18:03:58

We've done it and it does look better. Needs painting again though and I cba, so it's looking a bit tatty right now

GeorgeTheHamster Sat 04-Feb-17 18:04:45

Wooden bannister and white railings is the nicest I think.

ArriettyClock1 Sat 04-Feb-17 18:06:42

I would do it - not a fan of varnished wood.

Toomanycats99 Sat 04-Feb-17 18:06:46

We had new stairs and banisters in with out
Loft conversion. The. Banisters were a bugger to paint. Although they are spindly ones. If they are garnished they would need sanding first as well.

Toomanycats99 Sat 04-Feb-17 18:07:31

Apologies for silly spellings on the phone. They do look nice in white though.

BathTangle Sat 04-Feb-17 18:08:47

We started off doing this but the varnish was really gloopy and wouldn't come off the spindles to a point where we could paint over it. We actually ended up taking them all out and buying new spindles in the matching pattern. We then got a decorator in to paint them and were really pleased with the result.

MochaChocaChino Sat 04-Feb-17 18:29:15

Thanks so much for the speedy replies! Just wanted to sense check before I convince DH it's worth paying for smile

Too many cats it's spindles we've got so imagine it'll be tricky but Bathtangle maybe that's a good way of approaching it by replacing just those...food for thought thank you!

Chottie Sat 04-Feb-17 20:21:45

We did this too. It took me 20 years (!) to persuade DH to do this, but it really made a difference to the lightness of the hall and landing. It looks fresh and clean.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sat 04-Feb-17 20:45:13

My sister told me to use foam rollers... I have no idea if this is the right thing to do, but it sounds promising.

hesterton Sat 04-Feb-17 20:46:18

How old is the house?

MochaChocaChino Sat 04-Feb-17 20:59:42

Hahaha Chottie think that might be me too wink and PrincessofPower will bear that in mind thanks 👍🏻

Hester the house is c.15years old so definitely worth it. I'm hoping it will be like Chottie's house nice & airy** smile

GrumpySausage Sat 04-Feb-17 21:00:30

I did this when we moved in. Our banisters and under the stairs panelling was so dark and painting it white made the hall so much brighter.

Word of warning, make sure you give it plenty of time to dry before putting any weight on it. My DH made the mistake of using the bannister to pull himself up the stairs the next day and it was still tacky. It left handprint marks smack in the middle of it. That stayed there for another 4 years

engineersthumb Sat 04-Feb-17 22:23:37

This would depend on two factors:
What timber are the banisters made of?
How well are the joints made?
-If it was a pretty hardwood, oak, Ash etc and well made hen I would rub it down and use a clear varnish. These timbers are actually quite light in colour but may have been stained dark. If they are softwood or badly made then painting them may well be a good idea.

WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Sat 04-Feb-17 22:30:16

We had horrid orangey pine banisters. Painted them white gloss and it completely modernised the look of our house. They do take a battering and have chips 2 years later but it still looks better than pine!

engineersthumb Sat 04-Feb-17 23:00:20

I'm not a fan of pine either, whilst the grain can be quite flowery it's not particularly pretty. It also tends to be quote knotty and damage prone.

WanderingTrolley1 Sat 04-Feb-17 23:27:33

Paint white, definitely.

wowfudge Sun 05-Feb-17 05:54:35

Cut down on the work involved by using a good primer - Zinsser are really good. You won't even need to sand. Two coats of primer and two coats of water based satinwood paint shod do it.

GeorgeTheHamster Sun 05-Feb-17 09:01:31

My wooden handrails have always been over a hundred years old, modern ones might look less nice stripped.

Twolittlejobbys Sun 05-Feb-17 09:27:27

We done this a few years ago and used spray paint! Nice smooth bannister and spindles. Definitely do it before you re carpet though

Ifonlyiweretaller Wed 08-Feb-17 19:01:59

'We' ( I mean the decorators) painted ours once I had I convinced my OH it was the right thing to do, and it totally opened up the hall stairs and landing. They do need re-doing now, it is 8 years since they were last done.

He was also averse to having our solid oak kitchen painted, took me 5 years to convince him but what a transformation! Looks like new.

ShizerMinelli Wed 08-Feb-17 19:04:00

We did it, wasn't too pricey (but was an add on of an already big decorating job) - 3 floors here too, and also got a stair runner so had half the stairs painted too. Looks so much better. Was a nightmare at the time with two DC age 1&3. But looks glorious. So much cleaner and brighter.

Sonnet Wed 08-Feb-17 19:10:57

I've got a solid oak kitchen I'm tying to pursuance DH we need to paint!
Can I ask what you used please?

GallivantingWildebeest Wed 08-Feb-17 19:13:40

We had a new banister designed and made by a carpenter. Looks much lighter and brighter.

If the banisters are varnished wood you'll need to strip them back to bare wood to paint them. You can take all the spindles out and soak them = that might be easier than doing them all by hand. Time-consuming.

Ifonlyiweretaller Wed 08-Feb-17 19:26:52

Hi Sonnet. The decorators spent quite a lot of time sanding & prepping the units, then used F&B paint and a glaze on the top. It's worth paying for them to be done professionally in my opinion. My dad painted their kitchen units and the paint was wearing off within months and looked worse than before!

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